The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office refiled the 3rd-degree murder charge against the suspect in a deadly I-95 DUI crash that killed two state troopers and a pedestrian shortly after a judge dismissed it.
Jayana Tanae Webb, 22, of Montgomery County appeared in court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. A judge dismissed Webb's third-degree murder charge. She also set Webb's bail at $200,000 per person who died in the crash, bringing the total to $600,000.
"I think at the end of the day the judge made the right decision," Webb's attorney Michael Walker said. "Based on the law, it shouldn't have ever been charged as a murder case. It was an accident. It was an accident. And I'm so happy and hopeful that she'll be able to go home and talk to her family."
Webb remains charged with DUI, homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, homicide by vehicle, second-degree manslaughter of a law enforcement officer, involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person, driving under the influence and summary traffic violations, including failing to drive at a safe speed, careless driving and reckless driving.
"We still have a long way to go," Walker said. "There are a lot of charges still left and those charges are extremely serious and at the end of the day we still have people that perished. But today, we're happy."
Shortly after the dismissal, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office announced they refiled the third-degree murder charge against Webb. A spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office said a Common Pleas court judge will hear the refile motion on a date that's yet to be determined.
Prior to Wednesday's court appearance, Webb had been sitting in a Philadelphia jail since the deadly crash on I-95 near the Broad Street exit in South Philadelphia on March 21, 2022.
A number of witnesses testified during Wednesday’s preliminary hearing. NBC10 was there when a group of state troopers filed into the courthouse before 8 a.m. in a show of support for the victims.
The crash that took the lives of the two state troopers happened around 12:40 a.m. in the southbound lanes of I-95 near Lincoln Financial Field. Sources told NBC10 Pennsylvania State Troopers Martin F. Mack III, 33, and Branden T. Sisca, 29, had just pulled over Webb when they received a call about a man who was walking on the highway. They then left Webb as they responded to the man.
The two troopers spotted 28-year-old Reyes Rivera Oliveras walking on the highway. As they tried to get him into their vehicle, a driver, who officials identified as Webb, drove up to the scene and tried to use the shoulder of the highway to get around them.
The driver hit all three men, police said. The impact was so great that it threw the two troopers and Oliveras into the northbound lanes of I-95, police said.
Police said Webb remained at the scene, her car badly damaged, and was later taken into custody. Her alcohol level at the time was twice the legal limit of .08 BAC, according to police.
In March, Webb gave a post-Miranda Rights statement to officers that she had been drinking “strawberry Henny” -- referring to Hennessy Cognac -- prior to the crash, the Philadelphia District Attorney's office said.
Walker argued that his client was very young, a first-time offender and posed no danger to the public.
However, a judge ruled, based on the seriousness of the charges that “there is a public safety issue here,” and kept Webb behind bars until Wednesday’s hearing.